The Trump administration's betrayal of American values stops for nothing — not even a hurricane.
Even as Puerto Rico continues to suffer the aftereffects of Hurricane Maria’s devastation and the White House’s abominable responses, new reporting lays bare the Trump administration’s disgraceful conduct in the runup to Hurricane Irma’s landfall in Florida.
Prior to that deadly storm’s arrival, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security promised to halt non-criminal immigration enforcement in the affected area.
But according to BuzzFeed News, Trump’s immigration forces continued to round up non-criminal undocumented immigrants right up until Irma hit Florida:
(F)or four days after the statement was issued, officials with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Florida continued to take undocumented immigrants into custody, changing little in the agency’s local day-to-day operations as the state braced for the oncoming Category 4 storm.
CBP officials told BuzzFeed News that though priorities shifted to focus on life-saving operations in the days before Irma made landfall, immigration enforcement actions and arrests continued until Sept. 10, four days after DHS issued its statement pledging that such activity had ceased.
This news is disturbing on a moral level, but it’s also dangerous. The main reason for the announcement was to ensure that undocumented immigrants and their families would not have to fear deportation if they sought safety during the deadly storm that would go on to claim 33 lives.
But in the wake of this callous bait-and-switch, during future natural disasters many people may choose to lie low and face the danger of a massive storm rather than put themselves at the mercy — or lack thereof — of their federal government.
Not that Trump is overly concerned with them; he’s far too busy worrying about the bank accounts of his billionaire friends and donors.
Deceiving immigrants and luring them into a deportation trap during a time of great need and fear is a stunningly heartless move. But sadly, this kind of attack is par for the course for the Trump White House.